Europe

In their attempts to block the new left-wing leadership in Unison, the right-wing bureaucracy are looking to tie the left up in legal wrangles. The only way forward is to mobilise the rank and file. Defend the union! Let the members decide!

It’s been an amazing start to the new academic year for the MSF, with thousands signing up to Marxist societies across the country, participating in meetings and reading groups, and organising on campus. Join the Marxists! Join the revolution!

The Tory government is on a collision course with the European Union over the question of trade and the North of Ireland. The capitalists on both sides are losing control of the situation. An explosive cocktail is being prepared.

Last weekend, Italy saw one of the biggest demonstrations in the last 20 years as more than 200,000 people rallied for a massive anti-fascist protest in Rome. This was a colossal response to an attack against the national headquarters of the CGIL trade union a week earlier by the neo-fascist organisation Forza Nuova. The sheer scale of this demonstration shows the real strength of the working class. Only class struggle can defeat fascism.

55 years ago today, the Welsh village of Aberfan was hit by an avalanche of mining waste, killing 144 people, of which 116 were children. This did not need to happen. As with the Grenfell fire in 2017, warnings by local residents were repeatedly ignored by local officials and state bureaucrats. As we have seen time and time again, the capitalist system has a callous disregard for human life.

In a referendum on 26 September, a million people in Berlin voted for the expropriation of the major landlords. In the so-called “Deutsche Wohnen & co enteigen” (DWE) referendum (which in English translates as “Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen and co.”), 56 percent of voters voted to expropriate 240,000 apartments owned by the biggest profiteering landlords, including Deutsche Wohnen, with 39 percent voting against. This is the biggest breakthrough in the class struggle in Germany for decades. It gives a flavour of the militant mood building among workers and youth.

Politicians and journalists have responded to the killing of Tory MP David Amess by calling for ‘civility in politics’. But this is pure hypocrisy, coming from the same people who have whipped up hatred for years. The real divide is a class divide.

On Friday 28 May, forty thousand people gathered on Prešeren Square in Ljubljana to protest against the reactionary policies of Janez Janša. In a way, the protest is a culmination of social movements that began even before Janša’s round of austerity measures in Slovenia. Trade unions; civic, student and academic organisations; as well as the Levica (Left) party, took part in the protests.

The decision of the Metropolitan Police in Britain to take no action over allegations raised in the US courts that Prince Andrew was involved in the abuse of a minor, will come as a surprise to absolutely no-one.

In recent days, Greece has witnessed a wave of murderous fascist attacks against leftist organisations. This is the most intense violence since 2013, when the murder of rapper Pavlos Fissas sparked a mass anti-fascist movement and the government cracked down on neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. This culminated in the banning of the party in 2020.

Last Saturday (9 October), hundreds of fascists attacked and vandalised the premises of the national headquarters of the CGIL (Italian General Confederation of Labour) in Rome.

They did so during a demonstration against the so-called green pass (indicating one’s COVID-19 vaccine status), which the government imposed as mandatory in all workplaces on 15 October.

This measure is unleashing anger among a section of the workers (though not the majority), and especially from the petty bourgeoisie and the lumpenproletariat. This confused rage has opened up a certain political space for the right and the extreme right.

The fascists who assaulted the CGIL HQ were granted

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Turning off a little street in the heart of the historic centre of Naples, you will find a sign: Sinistra classe rivoluzione, sezione Hans – GerdÖfinger (“Left-wing class and revolution, Hans-Gerd Öfinger branch”). On 6 October, a rainy afternoon that announced the beginning of autumn, the sign was unveiled to an audience of around 70 people. Gathered together, they bore witness to a new beginning.

Rob Sewell, editor of Socialist Appeal and author of Chartist Revolution, recently appeared on A People’s History podcast talking about the Chartist movement, alongside John McDonnell, Emma Griffin and Katrina Navickas. The Chartist movement represented the first time the organised working class fixed its eyes on the seizure of power. The Chartists unashamedly fought for radical, socialist changes. Today, the Marxist movement stands on the shoulders of the great Chartist fighters – a revolutionary tradition to which we owe a tremendous debt.

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The horrifying rape and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard in March by a serving police officer caused a wave of rage and disgust across Britain. The killer’s trial and its aftermath have now unearthed a whole mountain of sexism and misogyny, affecting the police at every level. This was not a case of a single bad apple, as the Metropolitan police commissioner claimed: the entire institution is as rotten as the capitalist system it defends.